Anthrax
Volume 8: The Threat Is Real


3.0
good

Review

by BigHans USER (108 Reviews)
October 20th, 2009 | 24 replies | 10,938 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Anthrax attempts to find a new identity during a transition period.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

The mid to late 90's marked a transitional and for the lack of a better term, lost time for Anthrax. After releasing an output of sheer sonic brilliance in The Sound of White Noise, the band lost its lead guitarist, Dan Spitz, and teetered into mediocrity with the below average and almost mailed-in Stomp 442. Following the release of Stomp, Elektra records decided not to support the album, and the band promptly left the label and signed with Ignition records for their next release.

Volume 8: The Threat is Real, released in 1998, is a largely forgotten record. Although it does not rival White Noise or Among the Living, the apathy surrounding this release has much more to do with Ignition records going out of business shortly after the release than the strength of the overall record.

Volume 8 does not sound like any other Anthrax record. Musically, it is all over the place. While Stomp followed a similar musical pattern to White Noise, albeit in a throwaway fashion, Volume 8 is a melding of genres previously untouched by the band. There is very little that could be called "thrash," there are no breakneck riffs, and the heroic guitar soloing of the past is largely absent. Instead, the listener is greeted with a sound that resembles nu Metal, mixing with standard hard rock, and to the disbelief of many, a twinge of country. There are a few exceptions and

Experimentation may not be the correct word to use, but several pieces of this release do not even sound like Anthrax. The guitars have an entirely different sound, sounding more like a cross between the distorted sludge of Korn and the wah wah groove of Pantera. The latter factor can be largely attributed to the appearance of Dimebag Darrell of Pantera fame on two songs, but it sounds like he is playing on tracks where he is not present. Scott Ian was never a lead player, and since there was no true lead guitarist on this record it is easy to see why the guitar sound is different, and in some cases, absent.

These experimental influences can be heard right from the beginning. The opening track "Crush" is a biting number but carries the same sound as the Nu Metal you would have heard on the radio during this time, with the exception of Charlie Benante's furious percussion. "Catharsis" follows, and is a departure in the sense that it carries an infectious melodic chorus. Dimebag appears on "Inside Out" and "Born Again Idiot," two of the stronger and more ferocious tracks on the disc. "Inside Out" follows the popular trend of the time of having a foreboding soft opening and verse that explodes into a distorted chorus. Following the Pantera trend, Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo lends background vocals on "Killing Box," which is the only song here that could sound at home on Sound of White Noise.

From here, we see several departures. "Toast to the Extras" is borderline country, and has a lead rhythm that sounds like a cross between the Drive By Truckers and the Strokes. Although a true Anthrax purest would call this song complete drivel, it somehow works thanks largely to its massive catchiness. "Harms Way" has an acoustic intro and jumps into a standard melodic hard rock chorus. The hidden track "Pieces" is an all acoustic number sung by Frank Bello in reference to his deceased brother. Although it makes "Bare," a ballad off of Stomp 442 sound like "Packaged Rebellion," it is passionately done and hard to argue with.

The rest of the album that isn’t already mentioned is filler. There are two complete throw away tracks that clock in under one minute: "604" and "Cupajoe," that latter being outright unlistenable. "Alpha Male," "Stealing From a Thief," and "Big Fat" could have been easily left off the album. "Piss and Vinegar" and "Hog Tied" have promising moments but fail to be memorable in any way.

To summarize, although the album is far too long and contains at least 6 fillers among its 14 tracks, it is a worthy addition to a collection, if nothing else to complete your Anthrax collection. It requires an open mind if your taste is loyal to 80's era Anthrax, but it remains a much better release than Stomp 442. The band is musically all over the place, but there is enough compelling material to hold the listener.

Standout Tracks:

Crush
Inside Out
Toast to the Extras
Catharsis



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user ratings (277)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
dannyboy89 (1.5)
It's official, the band has reached Suckville....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
October 20th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Very good review. I didn't know anything about this album because I've always ignored the John Bush era. I definitely didn't know they ever tried nu metal influence.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

BigHans
October 20th 2009



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks man. That was my take on it any way. It sounds out of place compared to every thing else they did, even compared directly against the Bush era records.

Jesuslaves
October 20th 2009



4572 Comments


Good review. Unfortunately, their worst album.

Inveigh
October 20th 2009



24178 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

The Sound of White Noise is the only good John Bush Anthrax album. And it's still not great. I've hesitated to rate this because I've only heard it a couple times and did not like it at all, therefore did not buy it (I typically only rate albums I own).

The review was well-written though.

Digging: Symptom - Caverns Of Katabasis

Countorous
October 20th 2009



169 Comments


the threat is real

Jesuslaves
October 20th 2009



4572 Comments


WCFYA > Sound of White Noise. Neither is too good, though.

Inveigh
October 20th 2009



24178 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

WCFYA is better, but only because it's the old songs. I don't think I have either rated above a 2.5

Jesuslaves
October 20th 2009



4572 Comments


Eh? The old songs is The Greater Of Two Evils.


WCFYA = We've Come For You All.

Inveigh
October 20th 2009



24178 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Yeah, sorry mixed those 2 up. WCFYA I would say is about equal to SOWN. Just my opinion though. And still not over a 2.5

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
June 20th 2010



19488 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"Catharsis" pretty much saves this album from a 1.5, although "Cupajoe" makes me want to reconsider.

Still not as bad as Stomp 442 which is one of the worst albums ever.

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing for Us Here

BigHans
July 8th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

lol my first review on Sputnik. Sucks really hard.

dante1991
September 14th 2011



478 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Am I the only one who thing Stomp 442 is a much better album than this? I mean, it's still awful, but I'd take it over this any day.


Digging: Sonata Arctica - Winterheart's Guild

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2011



19488 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Stomp 442 is worse than st anger

TrephineArtist
February 25th 2012



171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The John Bush Anthrax completely owns the Belladonna Anthrax

quote; "worse than St Anger"

ahahahaahahahaaahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

you must be crazy, or deaf.

darkthrone1
January 1st 2013



387 Comments


sucks

KILL
January 1st 2013



67023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

rox

Digging: Picchio dal Pozzo - Picchio dal Pozzo

darkthrone1
January 1st 2013



387 Comments


this and stomp 442 are boring as hell

KILL
January 1st 2013



67023 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

weve come for you all aint good either

darkthrone1
January 1st 2013



387 Comments


it's a little better, but not much

MadPat
February 23rd 2014



2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is not really that bad as many people say. It has some catchy tracks like Crush, Catharsis, Inside Out, Harms Way or maybe Hog Tied. 604, Toast To The Extras and Cupajoe are totally unnecessary tracks on this album, I skip them everytime. Other than that it's decent album that's much better than awful Stomp 442, but not better than their previous work.



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